I understand what a lens hood does, and I've read several of the questions about them here on the site, but I am still left wondering whether I could get a lens hood that would work on both the lenses I have.

My equipment is a Canon 600D and a 18-55mm (and about to be a 70-300mm). I've read there could be problems with vignetting potentially if a lens hood were to be used on a 18mm focus as well as a 300mm focus.

Essentially what I'm asking is can I get just one lens hood for my kit, and if so what are the recommendations for sub £50?


6 Answers 6


Some lens hoods are an equal size, all the way round (such as for telephoto lenses) whereas others (for medium to wide lenses) protrude more at the top and bottom than they are wide, so I think the answer to your question is NO. There is no single lens hood that will fit all your lenses. The one for 18mm would not be suitable for 300mm.

That said, if cost is the issue, you can "make your own" very cheaply from card. Reference this web site for templates etc. Much cheaper!


A fixed universal lens hood would not work.

The hood is designed to block light that is just out of shot. Such light can't contribute to the image in any way but can bounce around inside the lens and cause flare.

What is "just out of shot" depends entirely on how wide your lens is. Light that is just out of shot for a 300mm image will be mid frame in an 18mm image! So blocking this light will leave big black areas in your images.

You need a hood which changes shape somehow. The easiest way to achieve this is with "barn door" style flaps which can be angled to stay out of shot:

(source: photo.net)


  • 2
    Actually, a bellows design (what we used to call a "compendium lens hood", but which people today tend to call a "matte box" even though nobody uses vignetting mattes anymore) is simpler. But as with the barndoor affair in your post, it will involve a support rail, and isn't really suitable for handheld shooting. Great for waist-level shooting with a square format or rotating-back MF camera, though.
    – user2719
    Aug 31, 2012 at 11:26
  • Consider a 24-105 or 17-55 zoom. Such lenses have infinitely many focal lengths, but just one hood. You could use the hood of such a lens for everything except superwide lenses, in theory. (Although there are reasons why hoods must be of different diameter, so in practice this wouldn't work.)
    – juhist
    Apr 19, 2019 at 18:10
  • @juhist Zoom lenses with hoods of their own have a particular lens recipe that makes the entrance pupil move back as it increases in size while zooming in. The hoods are very particularly catering to the recipe of a particular lens, and partly vice versa. Imagining those hoods to be of some universal shape fitting other lenses with the same zoom range is going to end up in disappointment. If there is a specific hood offered by the manufacturer of a lens, it will offer the best blockage of stray light possible in one form while not vignetting for any use case.
    – user95069
    Dec 4, 2020 at 13:59

The simplest and most universal method i know is: use your hand or a nearby object (tree, lamp post, building) to cast a shadow on the front of your lens.

This allows you to not have to carry or even own a lens hood (this also works for all your lenses)

Of course this might not be very practical for some kinds of shots where you have to be in a semi-fixed position, but for general walkaround shooting, it's great.


One thing long forgotten apparently is that there are flexible lenshoods, basically rubber tubes that can be extended to different lengths.
While far from universal (and not designed for the purpose, they're designed for things like pressing against a window to reduce reflections), they can work for different lenses with similar but different focal lengths.

Of course you'd still have the problem of the hood not working on lenses with variable front element diameter.


Lens hoods are designed according to the lens design and the lens filter diameter. For example, you can't use the same hood for both Canon 50mm 1.8 and Canon 100mm 1.8, because the first one has filter diameter 58mm and the other one 67mm. So here one hood would not be compatible for both lenses. The other thing to consider is the lens design - manufacturers design different hoods for different kinds of lenses. A wide angle, for example, would not be able to have a cylindrical hood, but a flower one. A cylindrical hood in this case will result to have hood parts in your photos. Here is a video where you can find all you need to know about hoods: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_m0MfAjNsk.

Hope this helps!



On the contrary. It is advisable using different hoods on the same super-zoom lens for different focal length. Usually the original lens hood for such lenses are ok on the short end of the zoom area. That has the shape of an ultra wide angle lens hood. In the mid of the zoom area and especially near the far edge (long focal length) this lens hood is far less than optimal.

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